Contracts for post-adoption contact between relatives and adopted children will be permitted in Tennessee beginning July 1, 2019. Contracts for continued contact with an adopted child were void and unenforceable under prior law.
Post-Adoption Contact Requirements
Contracts for post-adoption contact must be in writing and signed by all parties to be enforceable. The contract can only be made by agreement and a court will not force post-adoption contact upon the parties. The contract for post-adoption contact becomes enforceable upon finalization of the adoption and may provide for privileges with the adopted child by the biological parents including the following:
- Sharing of information about the child.
- Sharing of information about the biological or adoptive parents.
- May be enforceable until child turns 18 unless otherwise stated.
Enforcement and Modification
Any party may seek enforcement of the post-adoption contact agreement. However, a court cannot set aside an adoption, termination, or surrender because a party has failed to comply with the contract. Agreements that state they are “moral” agreements only cannot be enforced.
Only an adoptive parent or the child may seek modification of the agreement. A biological parent cannot petition for modification.
Contact an Attorney to Draft a Post-Adoption Contact Agreement
There are specific statutory language requirements for post-adoption contact agreements. You should consult with an attorney before attempting to negotiate or draft the agreement.